Hello Brave One!

Here is this week’s spotlight on Superstitious OCD:

Superstitious OCD is characterized by recurrent and persistent intrusive (unwanted) thoughts, urges or images about Superstitious along with compulsive, repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing anxiety/distress or preventing a feared outcome from happening, all of which cause distress and impairment in functioning.

Common Superstitious OCD Obsessions:

  • Fears of objects or experiences that are considered unlucky (graveyards, numbers, phrases or words, ect)
  • Preoccupation with lucky things (charms, numbers, sayings, songs, colors, ect)
  • Concern of causing something bad to happen
  • Attributing an immense amount of significance to signs (omens), emotions, body sensations, days or times of the year, ect in such a way that cannot be easily avoided

Actual Triggers and Intrusive Thoughts Reported by Clients with Superstitious OCD:

  • “If I breathe in with a bad thought I must breathe out to balance it”
  • “I must always rub the door three times before leaving for good luck.”
  • “I can’t walk under a ladder, or on a crack.”
  • “If I have a bad thought about mom, I could be responsible for something terrible happening to her!”

Common Superstitious OCD Compulsions:

  • Avoidances of places, holidays, situations, people or other content that might cause anxiety
  • Balancing an unlucky thing/thought/action with a lucky one
  • Researching
  • Redoing or repeating
  • Tapping, counting, rubbing, clapping
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Praying
  • Checking or searching for lucky/unlucky things
  • Placing power on objects or charms

**Please note: themes help us get more information out to individuals suffering with OCD, but anything can become obsessive and/or compulsive and themes can overlap. It’s also important to remember that the content of OCD is not important, it’s all the same mechanisms responding to different triggers. We recommend working with a therapist trained in ERP.

Stay Brave!
-The OCD MN Team